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All Tech Considered
2:41 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Digital Technologies Give Dying Languages New Life

In an undated photo, members of the Siletz tribe gather for the Siletz Feather Dance in Newport, Ore. The tribe is using digital tools to help preserve its native language.
Courtesy of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 7:45 pm

There are some 7,000 spoken languages in the world, and linguists project that as many as half may disappear by the end of the century. That works out to one language going extinct about every two weeks. Now, digital technology is coming to the rescue of some of those ancient tongues.

Members of the Native American Siletz tribe in Oregon say their native language, also called "Siletz," "is as old as time itself." But today, you can count the number of fluent speakers on one hand. Siletz Tribal Council Vice Chairman Bud Lane is one of them.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:40 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

One Nation, Two Health Care Extremes

A patient waits for a room to open up in the emergency room of Houston's Ben Taub General Hospital on July 27, 2009. Nationwide, Texas has the highest rate of uninsured residents.
Jessica Rinaldi Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 9:59 am

The U.S. spent $2.6 trillion on health care in 2010 β€” more than the entire economy of France or Britain. But the amount spent and how it's used varies from state to state.

And no two states are more different than Texas and Massachusetts. At 25 percent, Texas has the highest rate of uninsured people in the nation. Massachusetts, where a 2006 law made coverage mandatory, has the lowest rate β€” fewer than 2 percent of people are uninsured.

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Brilliant Idea: More Than 80,000 Of Einstein's Documents Going Online

A detail from what is thought to be one of only three existing manuscripts containing Einstein's most famous formula about the relationship between energy, mass and the speed of light β€” in his handwriting.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 11:04 pm

More than 80,000 of Albert Einstein's papers, including his most famous formula β€” E=mcΒ² β€” and letters to and from his former mistresses, are going online at Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

As NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro says on All Things Considered, "what the trove uncovers is a picture of complex man who was concerned about the human condition" as well as the mysteries of science.

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It's All Politics
2:07 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Rep. Paul Ryan Stokes New Medicare Fight, This Time During Election Year

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

It seems like only yesterday when House Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin introduced a federal budget that would change Medicare as we know it.

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The Salt
1:56 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Meat Substitute Market Beefs Up

Meat substitutes like seitan made from wheat gluten are becoming more palatable.
Richard Waller iStockphoto.com

When Michael Weber gave up animal products in 2003, the packaged food industry didn't have much to sell him.

"That early vegan food was either really hippy-ish or really processed," Weber tells The Salt. "It wasn't that high quality."

Nowadays, a stroll through a grocery store might just lead you to a freezer or cooler jammed with dozens of flavors of veggie burgers, meatless buffalo wings, dairy-free cheese and ice cream, and maple bacon tempeh.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:37 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Kids Exposed To Meth In Womb Can Struggle With Behavior Problems

Children exposed to meth may have more problems with anxiety and depression.
iStockphoto.com

Children who are exposed to methamphetamine before birth can have behavior problems as young as age 3, a new study finds. But those problems are manageable, the researchers say, especially if the children and their parents get help early on.

"These kids are not cracked and broken," says Linda LaGasse, an associate professor of pediatrics and Brown University Medical School, and lead author of the study. "But they do have problems that are worthy of note."

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Music Reviews
1:37 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Zieti: Music As An Act Of Resistance

Zieti member Tiende Djos Laurent with drum.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 10:24 am

From its start in the late '90s, Zieti faced tough odds. Arranging gigs in Abidjan, Ivory Coast was a high-risk, do-it-yourself affair for the band. And that was before the country underwent a military coup, a rigged election and a brush with civil war. Zemelewa was recorded by 15 musicians in four studios on two continents. For all that, you can sense the band's solidarity, as if merely making this record was an act of resistance.

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

As Pope Visit Nears, Cuba Detains Dissidents, Mexican Cartel Calls For Truce

In this Feb. 29, 2012 photo, people riding on a bus pass a banner of Pope Benedict XVI on the wall of a church in Leon, Mexico.
Dario Lopez-Mills AP

Pope Benedict XVI is set to begin his tour to Mexico and Cuba on Friday. It will mark the pope's first visit to Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America.

With his visit, there have been two interesting developments:

-- First comes news that over the weekend, the Knights Templars Cartel in Mexico called for a temporary halt in the violence while the pope is in town.

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Ahead Of Another 'Key' Primary, Romney Leads Illinois Polls

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Springfield, Ill., today.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

This week the action in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination is in Illinois, which holds its primary Tuesday.

In advance of that contest, Public Policy Polling is out with a new survey that it says shows "Mitt Romney is headed for a blowout victory." It has the former Massachusetts governor ahead of former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum 45 percent to 30 percent (with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul trailing far behind).

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Middle East
12:39 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

New Sanction Severely Limits Iran's Global Commerce

Iran has been denied access to the worldwide messaging system used to arrange money transfers, a move that is expected to affect Iran's oil exports and economy. The South Pars gas field in Assalouyeh, Iran, is shown here in 2010.
Vahid Salemi AP

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 2:16 pm

Iran has faced international sanctions for more than three decades, which have hurt, but never crippled its economy.

Now, a new move by a relatively obscure financial institution in Europe could make it much more difficult for Iran to do basic things crucial to its economy, such as selling oil and obtaining hard currency.

As of Saturday, many Iranian banks, including the Central Bank, have been refused access to a worldwide financial messaging system that's used to arrange transfers of money.

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